Australia — Recognition of SAS Counter Terrorist and Special Recovery Duties

Defence Hon­ours and Awards Tri­bunal Report into Recog­ni­tion of SAS Counter Ter­ror­ist and Spe­cial Recov­ery Duties
The Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Defence Sup­port, Dr Mike Kel­ly, today announced that the Gov­ern­ment had accept­ed the rec­om­men­da­tions of the inde­pen­dent Defence Hon­ours and Awards Tri­bunal Inquiry into Recog­ni­tion of Aus­tralian Defence Force Ser­vice for Spe­cial Air Ser­vice Counter Ter­ror­ist and Spe­cial Recov­ery Duties.

The Inquiry rec­om­mend­ed that:

1. Ser­vice in an online Tac­ti­cal Assault Group (TAG) since its incep­tion in 1980 (as well as ser­vice in the Inter­im TAG in 1979) should be recog­nised by the award of the Aus­tralian Ser­vice Medal with a new clasp, to be enti­tled Clasp ‘CT/SR’.

2. To be eli­gi­ble for a medal, recip­i­ents should: 

  • Have served in the online TAG for a min­i­mum of 60 days continuously.
  • Have been a mem­ber of the TAG, which com­pris­es a Reg­i­men­tal Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Com­mand and Con­trol Ele­ment, sig­nalers, intel­li­gence staff and oth­er spe­cial­ists, a squadron or com­pa­ny head­quar­ters as applic­a­ble, and land, water, sniper, and sig­nals troops.
  • Have been a spe­cial­ist mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Defence Force (eg Spe­cial Oper­a­tions avi­a­tion per­son­nel in sup­port of the TAG), but only so long as they meet the require­ment to serve con­tin­u­ous­ly online for 60 days.

“The release of the find­ings ful­fils a key elec­tion com­mit­ment,” said Dr Kelly. 

“From the rais­ing of this unique TAG capa­bil­i­ty to the present, those involved have main­tained a world-class capa­bil­i­ty ready for all sit­u­a­tions in sup­port of Australia’s interests.” 

Defence is cur­rent­ly work­ing through the imple­men­ta­tion aspects and fur­ther infor­ma­tion will be released con­cern­ing spe­cif­ic eli­gi­bil­i­ty once delib­er­a­tions have been finalised. “I would like to thank the Tri­bunal for its work on this and the oth­er mat­ters it con­tin­ues to deal with. I believe mem­bers of the Tri­bunal have under­tak­en their work dili­gent­ly, fair­ly and with an open mind. I con­tin­ue to have com­plete con­fi­dence in the Tri­bunal,” Dr Kel­ly said.

Media Note:
The full Report is avail­able online at

Media Con­tacts:
Elyse Gatt (Dr Mike Kel­ly): (02) 6277 4840 or 0437 502 246 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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